University of Virginia General Faculty Council

General Meeting Minutes

July 14, 1998

Members Present:

Barry Anderson

Tom Dowd

Trish Foley

Abby Gillette

Brad Holland

Joyce Pastors

Jane Penner

Mary Smith

Members Absent:

Ron Berube

Donal Day

Dennis DeSilvey

Elizabeth Fortune

Martin Hoard

Carol Larson

Wayne Smith

Danny Wilmer

Also Present:

Ron Buchard

Tom Gausvik

Doug Hurd

Mair deVoursney

Lynda S. White

Joyce Pastors chaired the meeting

  1. Discussion of July 15th new employee welcome session and resource fair: Tom Gausvik, Chief Human Resource Officer, was asked whether this event would be replacing the September general faculty orientation session. Mr. Gausvik stated that it was his understanding that the welcome session/resource fair would not replace the orientation session. Mr. Gausvik went on to give some background to the welcome session/resource fair. It originated in the U.Va. process simplification process, it will happen two (perhaps three) times a year, and the next offering will be in October or November

  2. Ron Bouchard, Chief Administrative Officer for the Medical Center, was asked about the upcoming elimination of the "general faculty" employment category in the Medical Center. This will remove the general faculty designation from 148 Medical Center employees (and General Faculty Council constituents). Mr. Bouchard stated that this action, made possible by the Medical Center’s grant of codified autonomy, applies only to the Medical Center, not to any other part of the Health Sciences Center. The goal of this action is to align the Medical Center with the rest of the health care marketplace and give the Medical Center the flexibility it needs to successfully compete. Everyone, with very limited exception, who is currently on a contract of employment has been notified that their contract will expire at the end of June, 1999. On July 1, 1999 new one year contracts will be issued. Everyone in the Medical Center will be classified as either a staff employee or a management employee. The one year contracts will have a provision guaranteeing six month notice of intent not to re-appoint, which can be exercised in the form of notice or compensation. All existing employees will be grandfathered with regard to benefits and, if the employee has already earned it, the expectation of continued employment. A grievance procedure will be in place by July 1, 1999 (the hope is to have it designed by the end of calendar year 1998) and the current employee communication council will be restructured to provide a forum for the concerns and questions of all Medical Center employees. Mr. Bouchard emphasized that this is not an attempt on the behalf of the University of Virginia to broadly strip away the category of general faculty, it applies only to the Medical Center. The quest for the flexibility to operate competitively in the health care market is the motivation.

    At this point Tom Gausvik, Chief Human Resource Officer, commented that the general faculty employment category, which originated at U.Va. in 1984, is a category in evolution. Over time the university might move to align its employment categories with those of peer institutions by having just two employment categories, 1. Instructional faculty, and 2. Management/Staff. U.Va. is also considering trying to move toward some sort of commonality of retirement plans for all employment categories, trying to erase differences where they don’t make sense. Mr. Gausvik’s comment elicited a question as to when all this might happen at U.Va.. Mr. Gausvik responded that there are some opportunities to begin moving towards a new model. He is involved with a statewide initiative to reform the classified payment plan. This might provide the opportunity to initiate something "new and flexible." He went on to say that it would be "years and years" before U.Va. could talk about a change of the classified system, that would require that U.Va. be granted codified autonomy. He also stated that in his opinion the general faculty are going to be here "for a long time." U.Va.’s goal is to move the general faculty and the classified staff closer together but there won’t be a merger in the near future.There were no more questions and the Council thanked Mr. Bouchard and Mr. Gausvik for attending. Mr. Bouchard and Mr. Gausvik then left.

  3. Joyce Pastors distributed copies of the materials sent to Provost Peter Low on Monday, July 13. These materials included: draft #7 of the Policy on the General Faculty, draft #2 of Administrative and Professional General Faculty Grievance Policies and Procedures and the accompanying cover letter. Now we wait for a response. Joyce will ask Elizabeth Fortune to post copies of the material that went to the Provost on the General Faculty web site.

  4. Joyce then distributed an updated list of the number of members of the general faculty in each school/department. This led to a discussion on reapportioning representation. The goal has been to have one representative for every 75-100 members of the general faculty council. The group felt it was important to maintain a total of 18 representatives on the council. With the impending loss of the two representatives from the Medical Center and the existing vacancies in Arts and Sciences representation we have a number of seats to fill to meet our goal of 18 representatives. The issue of at-large representation was raised and briefly discussed. Reducing the number of representatives from Arts and Sciences from three to two was also discussed. Since there was not a quorum at the meeting no action concerning reduction could be taken. Joyce will talk with Dennis DeSilvey and Donal Day about beginning work on filling the Arts and Sciences vacancies.

  5. Because of vacation schedules the August meeting of the General Faculty Council was canceled. Next Meeting - Tuesday, September 8, 12:30-2:00 pm, in 389 Newcomb Hall.

Respectfully Submitted

Tom Dowd


General Faculty Council

August 11, 1998